Understanding False Belief in Children

Topic: Child Psychology
Words: 807 Pages: 3
Table of Contents


A child’s daily exposures tend to influence their psychological wellness and ability. Most adults tend to believe that children below the age of 6 years are naïve and only guided by the object’s physical appearance. However, children tend to differ on problem-solving levels, which influences the variations in thinking and interpretation. Therefore, some children might be so quick to develop solutions at a tender age while their counterparts cannot establish solutions. False beliefs of the mind among children turn out to be the most effective technique of testing the psychological establishment of most children based on their ability of vision. Additionally, the tests play a very useful role in the process of analyzing the personal beliefs that dominate children and how the children can be guided to attain societal expectations. As a result, it is useful to effectively apply false belief tests on children below the age of 6 years and develop a better understanding of the theory of the mind.


Understanding other people based on false beliefs tends to create a wrong narrative about children, and this causes the spread of a perception that children are naïve and ignorant by nature. The level of ignorance and naivety is attributed to their low ability to solve some of the problems they face during their growth and development. According to the false belief test, children below the age of 4 years proved unable to solve issues (Bergin and Bergin, 2019). The children could not effectively state what was present in the boxes, and they responded by explaining that the boxes contained biscuits as drawn on the box while, in reality, the box was carrying pencils. Thus, the children could not differentiate representation changes. However, the same test was conducted on children above the age of 4 years but below the age of 6 years. Children within this age proved that they could associate the box with the contents, whereby one of the respondents argued that they could not be fully aware of the contents since the tamper-proof was broken (Smogorzewska & Osterhaus, 2021). The assertions by the children above four years proved that other people’s thoughts are influenced by their surroundings.

Growth and development tend to create an opportunity for children to understand society and how to tolerate some of the lifestyle challenges. According to the test, children above the age of 4 years proved that they have skills for understanding what other people endure and how they can establish lasting solutions (Gallant et al., 2020). However, children below the age of 4 years have proven during the test that they failed to recognize the contents of the box due to their cognitive development (Bergin and Bergin, 2019). Children below four years fail the fact because they tend to consider the world to revolve around their expectations, and this tends to limit their abilities to understand the perspective of other people. However, the inability to understand the perspective of other people tends to create a narrative where children below the age of 4 years are thought to be ignorant or naïve (Smogorzewska et al., 2018). Therefore, there is a need to ensure that children can understand the needs of other people for them to separate their skills from others.

The development of the theory of mind tends to vary, but experiments have proven that children can develop fully at the age of four years. The experiment on false belief has proven that children can comprehend and interpret various scenarios better when they reach four years and above (Bergin and Bergin, 2019). Thus, they can effectively understand and interpret the situations as they happen, which helps develop solutions that are not aimed at attaining personal interests. The experiment proved that children above the age of four years could anticipate others as opposed to their younger counterparts (Smogorzewska et al., 2018). Children below the age of four are only able to recognize issues based on appearance and reality without relying on their thinking and understanding the ability of others to create changes.


In conclusion, conducting tests is very useful in understanding the real-life issues that tend to affect people within specific age groups and proving the existing narratives surrounding some of the psychological issues. Theories play a useful role in ensuring that there is an understanding of some of the issues surrounding some of the unique behaviors portrayed by a specific group of people in society. Children below the age of four years could not effectively understand the perspective of others and mainly relied on their perspectives to serve their interests. Therefore, the rational response received from most of the children below the age of 4 years results in the spread of the perception that they are ignorant or naïve, but in reality, the cognitive development is not fully established, and this affects their point of reason.


Bergin C. A. C. & Bergin D. A. (2019). Child and adolescent development in your classroom: chronological approach. Cengage.

Gallant, C., Lavis, L., & Mahy, C. (2020). Developing an understanding of others’ emotional states: Relations among affective theory of mind and empathy measures in early childhood. The British journal of developmental psychology, 38(2), 151–166. Web.

Smogorzewska, J., & Osterhaus, C. (2021). Advanced theory of mind in children with mild intellectual disability and deaf or hard of hearing children: A two-year longitudinal study in middle childhood. The British journal of developmental psychology, 39(4), 603–624. Web.

Smogorzewska, J., Szumski, G., & Grygiel, P. (2018). Same or different? Theory of mind among children with and without disabilities. PloS one, 13(10), e0202553. Web.

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